Public School Initiative

Since 2005, the Jewish Children’s Museum has opened a window into Jewish culture for more than 2,000,000 children of all backgrounds and ages—thanks in large part to our corporate partners.

Today, by uniting to create the JCM Public School Initiative, we will bring this unmatched experience to thousands of additional NYC students while our partners become more widely known for their support of education and culture.

We thank the corporate firms and foundations, including Con Edison, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Nissan USA and New York Life that have helped us launch the pilot Public School Initiative with dramatic results.

At this crucial time, we hope you will partner with us to continue helping students carry a message of tolerance and caring forward.

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UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGE

NYC children encounter numerous ethnicities and cultures. What these encounters achieve is entirely unpredictable: Do they dispel baseless myths or do they reinforce dangerous stereotypes?

Research shows that children from low-income neighborhoods are much less likely to interact with cultures outside their immediate environments. Most public school children have no concept of Jewish people and tradition beyond a vague—and often misleading—picture drawn from pop-culture portrayals. Many NYC students, especially in public schools, maintain barriers of suspicion toward culture, and are unfamiliar with a universal code of moral values. Research confirms that elementary school children exposed to a range of cultures are much more likely to respect diversity in their teen and adult years. School children in many public schools do not have the opportunity to visit cultural institutions because of prohibitive admission costs.

The Jewish Children’s Museum knows the potential to excite young minds, to bring people together—to shape a future based on respectful coexistence where suspicion and avoidance now dominate.

PRESENTING A SOLUTION

The Jewish Children’s Museum has pioneered a learning model that dispels fear, suspicion and myths about one of New York’s most prevalent, yet least understood traditions, and encourages children to draw lessons for their own lives.

The multi-sensory JCM engages teachers, parents and students in actively understanding Jewish people and their culture. A detailed public school curriculum includes pre-visit discussion topics, Q & A prompts for JCM educators and post-visit follow-up activities. The museum experience is goal-oriented to ensure that children leave with a strong sense of appreciation and knowledge.

The Jewish Children’s Museum maintains a minimal group rate of $7.5 per child, to cover the basic cost of materials and staff salaries. Still, too many schools, community centers, houses of worship and low-income families are unable to visit. How can we join forces to allow many more children to experience the Jewish Children’s Museum?

PROJECT GOALS

Museum educators have teamed up with prominent teachers, youth leaders and child psychologists to develop a curriculum for visiting schools that is lively, intriguing, effective and interactive, and whose effects will be felt for life. It includes pre-visit discussion topics and post-visit material including reviews and surveys.

  • The PSI will provide free admission to the JCM for up to 30,000 NYC public school children.
  • The PSI further promotes a deep respect and tolerance for cultural, religious and ethnic differences in children and youth.
  • The PSI develops awareness in students across New York of the richness of museums and culture in general.
  • The PSI leverages your support by promoting it among other companies that have shown interest in supporting similar causes.
  • The PSI citywide impact can be measured by number of first time schools and students who experience the museum, and by feedback from students and teachers.

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